Mugello, Italy

2018 Mugello MotoGP Saturday Round Up: Old Age, Treachery, And Sheer Outright Speed

Mugello is many things: Majestic, magical, magnificent. It is also mendacious. It can catch you out, lead you down the wrong path, make you think you've found the right direction, only to find it is a dead end. It rewards sleight of hand too. There are many different ways to skin a cat at Mugello, if you will excuse the expression, so you have to keep your cards close to your chest. To win at Mugello, you need to be fast, you need to be brave, but you also need to have a good poker face.

Qualifying on Saturday was both magnificent and mendacious. Pole was won through a combination of sublime riding and a good deal of meddling, subtly controlling rivals to keep them from any chance of a counterattack. It was a masterclass, but then what else would you expect at Mugello?

The deception started early in the weekend. All weekend long, Andrea Iannone has been fastest. On Friday, we thought it was just a single fast lap, a soft tire to flaunt his speed to prospective employers, now that he has been told he is surplus to requirements and must make way for Joan Mir. But dig into the timesheets and it is not just one lap, but serious speed, consistently capable of lapping just that little bit faster than anyone else.

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